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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So, I am relatively new to the site and I’ve been trying to decide which to buy; a 30th reissue or an original. For reference, I have a beat on acquiring a 1991 all-original DY with the low pro and am trying to decide if I should get that or a 30th. They are almost identical in price.

I’ve tried scouring the older posts and no one seems to have compared these two side-by-side (at least not recently). I also tried looking for YouTube videos, but to no avail.

I realize the 30th’s have the updated Evo pickups and the 5-piece neck, but are these actually better? Do the 30th’s play as nicely (or nicer) than the originals? Do they feel the same? I assume many of you have played and/or own both.

Clearly the originals are of historical significance, but that doesn’t necessarily mean better.

I appreciate any expertise any of you can provide. Thanks!
 

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The new guitars are more likely to be in good condition with more life left in the frets, my 30th is one of the best playing guitars I've put my hands on, it's just a real high quality Super Strat, but I prefer the sound on my 94 7V. Can't tell you how it compares to an original 777 side by side. There are a number of small differences, some would say improvements (such as the volute at the nut, and the Evos instead of PAF Pros).

I've played my 777 so much since 2017 that I've put significant wear on the frets, it still plays great with no issues or setup adjustments needed but eventually it will need a fret dressing, this has massively changed my outlook on buying guitars to where I will no longer buy an expensive guitar if it doesn't have SS frets.
 

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I'd go with the reissue in your shoes. You'll be more likely to run into issues on a 30 year old guitar like the trem studs leaning or knife edges wearing, etc. Evos are great and the 5pc volute neck with the wider fretboard is better imo.
 

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I'd go with the reissue in your shoes. You'll be more likely to run into issues on a 30 year old guitar like the trem studs leaning or knife edges wearing, etc. Evos are great and the 5pc volute neck with the wider fretboard is better imo.
It's a mystery to me but the 777 30th neck measures wider at the 24th fret than my 1994 7V neck does, but the 7V neck has always felt noticeably chunkier in the hands.. It was only when I measured them that I realised the 777 neck was actually wider and it completely threw me off, there is obviously something different about the carve of the neck and the different frets that is different enough to create this confusion.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks for weighing in, everyone. I definitely get that every guitar is its own animal. Case in point, I have a particularly sweet jem jr. that plays amazingly well and has a perfect fret job. Likewise, I realize many of the jr’s are unplayable crap.

As for what may go wrong with a 30 year old guitar, I can fix most of that myself (except for trem damage/wear). The 1991 that I have my eye on has virtually zero fret wear. The bushings are tight on the bar, etc., etc. Other than a few finish blemishes, it’s awesome.

I assume the 30th’s play and feel nearly identical to the current Jem7V’s? Am I right in that assumption?
 

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Thanks for weighing in, everyone. I definitely get that every guitar is its own animal. Case in point, I have a particularly sweet jem jr. that plays amazingly well and has a perfect fret job. Likewise, I realize many of the jr's are unplayable crap.

As for what may go wrong with a 30 year old guitar, I can fix most of that myself (except for trem damage/wear). The 1991 that I have my eye on has virtually zero fret wear. The bushings are tight on the bar, etc., etc. Other than a few finish blemishes, it's awesome.

I assume the 30th's play and feel nearly identical to the current Jem7V's? Am I right in that assumption?
Different to a 7V, frets are smaller and it has a square block heel, maple board, basswood body and a backstop system that is part of the default setup. It's halfway between a 1987 777 and a modern 7V.
 

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I will get the new jem777 30th anniversary for better and newer condition with all the case candies and 30th logo etc..... collectors model rather then worn out older jem777 for the price point....
 

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I'll give my 2 cents worth. I used to own a 1989 JEM 777DY. I loved that guitar and it was my go to axe. The one thing I didn't care much for was the finish on the neck. It always felt kinda sticky & waxy (for lack of a better term) in my hands. But, other than that it was a fantastic guitar. I ended up selling that guitar and a 1990 Universe 77MC with a ATD swirl so I could buy a Veleno Original guitar. I'm still kicking my ass for selling the Universe, but I now have a 30th Anniversary JEM 777LG and I believe this guitar plays so much better than the original JEM 777's. With all the improvements as well as how nice the neck feels, to me it plays like butter. And it doesn't have that waxy, sticky feeling I didn't care for on the originals. I noticed that the originals necks have a darker tint where as the 30th Anniv. models don't. Maybe that's why the original necks felt that way to me. Anyway, I hope this helps and good luck with your decision.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Thanks for your input, everyone. I really appreciate the time some of you took to reply. I think what I’ve come to realize is that I eventually want both. It seems they are quite a bit more different than I’d originally anticipated. Each has their pros.

That said, I went for the 1991 DY first as the deal was sweet and the guitar is a beautiful player. My thinking was that a deal like that might be much harder to get down the road. It’s quite honestly the best player I’ve ever owned, vintage or modern, and I’ve owned somewhere in the neighborhood of 40 instruments in my time.

This is my first real JEM (I.e. not a Jr.) so I guess I’m finally part of the real club, here. That said, If the 30th plays even better, then I can’t wait for one of those, too.

Thanks again, everyone.
 

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Thanks for your input, everyone. I really appreciate the time some of you took to reply. I think what I've come to realize is that I eventually want both. It seems they are quite a bit more different than I'd originally anticipated. Each has their pros.

That said, I went for the 1991 DY first as the deal was sweet and the guitar is a beautiful player. My thinking was that a deal like that might be much harder to get down the road. It's quite honestly the best player I've ever owned, vintage or modern, and I've owned somewhere in the neighborhood of 40 instruments in my time.

This is my first real JEM (I.e. not a Jr.) so I guess I'm finally part of the real club, here. That said, If the 30th plays even better, then I can't wait for one of those, too.

Thanks again, everyone.
Sitting here playing my 30th now, of all my guitars I think it's the best playing guitar, comfortably so. Not the best sounding guitar I own, but the best playing. Most people have been buying them as collectors items and leaving them as unplayed case queens until they get bored and sell them on which is a shame because they are beautiful playing guitars, truly exceptional. Mine is really well played, I didn't buy it to coddle it and I've really come to appreciate the enjoyment I get from it.

I'd love an original too but too much cost associated with it.
 

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Can anyone verify the difference in neck thickness between original 777's and the 30th's ??

I have played two originals and necks were quite fat/beefy (which I love) .... are the 30th's just as fat ??
 

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Can anyone verify the difference in neck thickness between original 777's and the 30th's ??

I have played two originals and necks were quite fat/beefy (which I love) .... are the 30th's just as fat ??
I wouldn't call either fat, they measure 19mm at the nut and 21mm at the heel making them among the thinnest necks to ever be put on a guitar, they are wide though with the originals being 56mm (measured at the end of the fretboard past the 24th fret) and the new ones being 58mm. I think the neck on the 30th is great but it's not the same neck as the original, that extra 2mm width is significant.
 

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I wouldn't call either fat, they measure 19mm at the nut and 21mm at the heel making them among the thinnest necks to ever be put on a guitar, they are wide though with the originals being 56mm (measured at the end of the fretboard past the 24th fret) and the new ones being 58mm. I think the neck on the 30th is great but it's not the same neck as the original, that extra 2mm width is significant.
The early 90's 777's that i have played were definitely beefy and definitely did not feel like any ordinary Ibanez wizard neck ... I'll jast say this ... the early neck profile is much fatter than any RG550 thats for sure.
 

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Ok... so to clear things up regarding the neck profiles of the original vs 30th models ...

According to the 1987 & 1988 JEM777 Catalogue ... necks were 19mm @ 1st and 21mm @ 12th frets.

According to specs for the 30th Anniversary models the necks were 18mm @ 1st and 20mm @ 12th frets.
 

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Ok... so to clear things up regarding the neck profiles of the original vs 30th models ...

According to the 1987 & 1988 JEM777 Catalogue ... necks were 19mm @ 1st and 21mm @ 12th frets.

According to specs for the 30th Anniversary models the necks were 18mm @ 1st and 20mm @ 12th frets.
Edited : Yeah you're right about the 30th thickness, I misread the dates on the Jem neck specs as my 7V is a 94 (19/21) and I had a brain fart.

The Wizard necks are 17mm at the nut 19 at heel. But 19-21 is far from chunky if you compare it to other companies, the original Jem 777's are considered super slim necks, but the RG550 Wizard necks are extremes. Chunky compared to an RG550 maybe, but definitely super slim in the grand scheme of things.
 
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